2011-2012 Season


FEATURES / OBT Invited Back to the Kennedy Center to Perform James Kudelka's "Riveting" Almost Mozart for Ballet Across America III, June 4 - 5, 2013

James Kudelka's Almost Mozart
Alison Roper, Damian Drake and Paul DeStrooper in Oregon Ballet Theatre's 2006 production of James Kudelka's Almost Mozart. Photo by Blaine Truitt Covert.

Oregon Ballet Theatre will once again showcase Oregon artistry before a national audience as part of the Ballet Across America Festival, June 4 – 9 at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center.

After a triumphant first visit to the Kennedy Center as part of Ballet Across America’s inaugural program in 2008, Oregon Ballet Theatre is delighted to return to participate in the third Ballet Across America series in June of 2013. The Ballet Across America program showcases 9 ballet companies from around the country in a festival setting and Oregon Ballet Theatre is one of 3 of the original 9 companies presented that will be returning next season to showcase work in the festival.

Other companies invited to participate in the Festival include Ballet Austin, Boston Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Sarasota Ballet and The Washington Ballet.

Interim Artistic Director Anne Mueller shares, “We are incredibly honored to return to the Kennedy Center stage and join the other prestigious companies featured in the festival this year. We look forward to sharing James Kudelka’s Almost Mozart with a broader audience. This work was created on OBT and showcases the company’s athleticism and vibrant, committed performance style.”

The Portland Tribune called Almost Mozart “daring modernity…constructing hard-earned images out of sheer muscularity and determination.”

Willamette Week said Almost Mozart was “a meaty experiment in restriction and exposure….The effect is riveting, characterized by tones of twisted desperation and bursts of accidental beauty.”

Oregon Ballet Theatre’s first visit to the Kennedy Center garnered national acclaim for the performance of Christopher Wheeldon’s RUSH, including strong reviews from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.

The Washington Post called the performance “a revelation,” continuing to describe the company as “a group of talented and winsome dancers to watch.”

Premiered in the Richmond Ballet (Stoner Winslett, Artistic Director) New Works Festival, Ershter Vals features music based on poems from the Jewish ghettos of World War II. The captivating choreography focuses the ballet on the moments of light that can be found in even the darkest of times, creating a penetrating message of hope. Oregon Ballet Theatre (Christopher Stowell, Artistic Director) arrives from the west to present James Kudelka's riveting Almost Mozart, which juxtaposes a gorgeous Mozart score with stunning moments of complete silence. And Boston Ballet (Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director) brings Balanchine's complex and energetic Symphony in Three Movements, set to Stravinsky's music and marked by its turned-in movements and athletic sequences.


OBT made its Kennedy Center Debut in July 2008 with a well-received performance of Christopher Wheeldon's RUSH. Here's what the critics had to say:

The Washington Post
"Oregon Ballet Theatre is the smallest, least wealthy and youngest of the companies in 'Ballet Across America,' established less than 20 years ago. It set itself a hefty challenge in dancing Wheeldon's 'RUSH,' an energetic, highly technical work created in 2003 for the San Francisco Ballet and, until OBT acquired it, danced by no other troupe. But the result was a revelation: Here is a group of talented and winsome dancers to watch." "...[Oregon Ballet Theatre] put an exhilarating stamp on a fascinating week."- Read the Washington Post Review

"[Oregon Ballet Theatre's] dancers seized the stage with appetite and attention-getting strength." - The Washington Post

The Washington Times
"The program concluded with a bright, fresh gem...Oregon Ballet Theatre dancing Christopher Wheeldon's RUSH..."
- Read The Washington Times Review

The Oregonian
"To say that [OBT] held their own against Houston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet West, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Washington Ballet would understate the case." - Read The Oregonian Review


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